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Gilgamesh

Tonka

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So after 5 hours of musky fishing on Tonka and not seeing 1 musky, I have come to the conclusion that there are no musky in that lake smile... We fished the west side by the islands and couldn't get anything going. The only excitement was when a 5 pound bass attacked my top water musky bait. I guess these musky really are the fish of 10,000 casts. Maybe I'll catch one after reaching that number. Still got a lot to go...

500/10,000

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I was out twice this week with nothing to show for it... I'll be out battling again soon though. Glad to hear they're still in there, it'll keep me throwing out there!

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I'm interested in talking to someone to fishes Tonka and has sucess there, I'm not looking for spots or anything just some generalizations of the lake. If someone can shoot me an email they can if they don't want to give out too much on the net.

Griggs2121 at msn com

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Griggs,

'tonka is not easy, as I too am still learning the lake, West end in particular. The island areas like Wausatasu, Hardscrabble Point area, Halsteds Bay... all will produce. Look to the channel areas on days with less traffic too. I launch out of Cooks Bay often and there's a ton of areas there to work.

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From Thursday through Sat I spent a total of 18 hours on tonka and found the fishing to be very tough. I was out with two friends and we were only able to snag some small bass and pike along with one baby musky (25"). I am not sure if the weather has thrown things off or I am not dialed into the pattern right now. Usually when skys are cloudy and there is a little breeze the fishing is good. My guess right now is that the fish are in open water... that is the one tactic my buds and I did not try.

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From Thursday through Sat I spent a total of 18 hours on tonka and found the fishing to be very tough. I was out with two friends and we were only able to snag some small bass and pike along with one baby musky (25"). I am not sure if the weather has thrown things off or I am not dialed into the pattern right now. Usually when skys are cloudy and there is a little breeze the fishing is good. My guess right now is that the fish are in open water... that is the one tactic my buds and I did not try.

What kind of water temps were you in?

-JR

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I did some open water trolling just east of Eagle Island, saw lots of bluegills and some baitfish schools (not sure what kind) but didn't see any Musky

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JR, we had water temps ranging from 73-76 degrees. I was very shocked that we didn't move any fish. I was in spots that I have alot of confidence in as well. Must have the bad juju on my gear.

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This time of year don't be afraid to get shallow. I've caught more muskies inside and on top of the weeds than I have deep weed edge. The musky fishing pressure on Tonka has gone exponential over the last ten years so these fish have seen everything. Don't be afraid to experiment ie swimbaits, big spinnerbaits tipped with a sucker just something a little different. Peak times are sunrise and sunset hours - midday is just flat out tough. If it's overcast and blowin and just plain nasty midday hours will put out fish. Nice and sunny go chase green carp.

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Quote:
This time of year don't be afraid to get shallow.

Allow me to piece this together for you....letting a tip go here, not sure why! wink

So, don't be afraid to go shallow is the advice from a guy who lives on the lake (Stanley). Lot's of muskies are caught by bass guys (common knowledge). Bass guys love the jig 'n' pig (like me). Muskies like jigs, as Stange tells us ALL THE TIME!

90% of the muskie guys on 'tonka, % goes higher when I'm not out there, do not throw a jig 'n' pig. Use a J'n'P and stack the odds in your favor. It's something different from the double 10 bucktail they have seen a thousand times and everyone else is throwing, it's great shallow or deep, and the hook-up % is very high, along with the "fish-friendly" single hook.

Stange likes the J-Mac jigs, RK likes the Esox Cobra jigs....me, I like both so far, not a clear leader, although the hook gap on the EC jigs is nicer. Lunker City Salt Shaker 6" trailers are a good option. Rig 'em sideways and the tail really thumps.

I'm right there with most of you at the novice level of using the jigs for muskies, but it's a a very good technique and not hard at all. Pretty simple really, often a straight-line retrieve is the ticket, or work up on the inside weedline as Stanley mentioned.

Let me know how you do, I'm hoping for good reports.

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Chris just spilled the beans. Can't keep it quiet forever. For the record JMac jigs have been better for me although I also use the Esox Cobras because they have some color patterns I like. Salty Shakers really put out a nice whomp but I have had more bites using Powerbait saltwater swimbaits. For added attraction when using a swimming retrieve I got some big safety pin type spinners at Cabelas (think oversized beetle spins) and changed out the blades to #6 Colorado in orange or hammered copper (Tonka muskies like those colors). Attach a 1/2oz Owner jighead tipped with the swimbait in the flat position Stange likes. There you go. Troll it. Cast it. Deep weed edges or over the top. The setup works for every large predator in Tonka. I used to troll suckers on single hook bucktails like Eagle Tails with great success but this setup works better and I don't need to hassle with livebait.

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Well let's see. I came home on leave from the Army for a month and went out there 3 times. The first time my buddy caught a 36" and a 43". The second time my dad caught a 44" and I caught a 42" and a 53". The third time my buddy caught a 50". All in anywhere from 30-39 feet of water. So stay in the deeper water and work the hump near the boueys. There are plenty in there we had numerous follow ups from both skis and pike. Stick with it man you'll catch one. Oh yea those two I caught were my first ever skis and now I can say that I am officially hooked.

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SCRANGY, that just makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong. I've never spent an entire season hitting tonka for muskies, but I've been out there over a dozen times looking for skis and I've never got one. I caught about a 23" when I was bass fishing once and I lost about a 40-45" while bass fishing but thats it. Hmmmm...

I'm planning on doing some night fishing on Thursday, so we'll see.

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